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Notes: Duque decision not difficult
10/16/2004 9:03 PM ET
BOSTON -- Joe Torre and Mel Stottlemyre made the decision to pitch Orlando Hernandez in Game 4 after Friday's rainout, even though the extra day would have allowed them to bring back Mike Mussina on Sunday on full rest.

Mussina tossed six innings of perfect ball in Game 1 before allowing four hits in the seventh inning, all of which came around to score. He earned the win, his first in five Game 1 starts for the Yankees since 2001.

"He had a tough game," Torre said. "Pitching a no-hitter for six innings, that takes a little more out of you. The extra day won't hurt him."

Mussina, who will start Game 5 on Monday, is known as a creature of habit when it comes to his routine between starts, but Torre and Stottlemyre consulted him before making their decision for Games 4 and 5.

"He would tell us if it were that important for him to pitch on the fifth day," Torre said. "When we told him what we wanted to do, he was fine."

Public enemy No. 1? Derek Jeter has never been the most popular person in Boston, but the Yankees' captain insists that Boston is his kind of town.

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"You go places, they always have nice things to say. You go out to eat, they offer to pay for your check," joked Jeter of the Boston fans. "You get them one-on-one, I think they respect us. Obviously they don't pull for us, but I think they have respect for how we go about playing the game. If you get a group of them, that's trouble."

Jeter's Yankees have finished first in the American League East in each of the past seven seasons, while the Red Sox have been the runner-up in each of those years. The shortstop has always received a loud and raucous greeting at Fenway Park, and his name has been a staple on anti-Yankee T-shirts in the ballpark.

"I love it here," Jeter said. "I've said it time and time again, the atmosphere makes it fun. Regardless of the kind of things that they may say, the Red Sox fans are die-hard, to say the least. They are pretty passionate about their team."

Fox flip-flop: The crew from Fox's NFL pregame show was at Fenway Park before Saturday's game, getting a closeup look at the ALCS before broadcasting live from Sunday's Patriots-Seahawks game in Foxboro.

Terry Bradshaw, who roamed the field with Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson and James Brown during batting practice, said that although he is a New York fan, he would like to see a different ending to this series than he saw last year.

"I'm a Yankees fan," Bradshaw said. "But I'm rooting for the Red Sox. It's time."

Rested and ready: Friday's rainout gave both the Yankees and Red Sox an extra day to prepare for Game 3, but Torre isn't sure which team got more of an advantage from the one-day delay.

"It's all going to come down to how we get out of the box here tonight," the manager said. "It would be guesswork on my part. When you're playing well, you want to play, but I've been on the other side, too, and when you lose, you want to get back out there. I don't like it either way, because I just want to play."

The Yankees won both games in the Bronx, taking a commanding 2-0 lead in the series, but Torre knows that there is no such thing as a comfortable lead in a short series.

"You don't go in [to Game 3] thinking you have a cushion. You go in trying to put yourself in a very powerful position as opposed to one game over," Torre said. "It's easy for people to say we only have to win two of the next five games, but we can't think that way. We have to think of every game as the most important game we have to play or manage."

Old friends: The Yankees are two wins away from their seventh World Series appearance in nine years, while the Houston Astros are three victories over the St. Louis Cardinals away from making it to the Fall Classic for the first time in their history.

Should the two clubs reach the World Series, the matchup would pit Roger Clemens against some of his teammates from the past five years. Andy Pettitte, who pitched for New York from 1995-2004, is also a member of the Astros, but the left-hander is out for the year after undergoing elbow surgery during the season.

"You miss those guys," said Jeter. "I've played with Andy since '92, and I wish him the best. Same thing with Rocket. I've probably talked to him a little bit more than Andy, but I'm pulling for them. I hope they do extremely well. Just not if we're playing them."

Jeter, who played with Clemens from 1999-2004, said that he would welcome the opportunity to play Clemens in the World Series, because it would mean that the Yankees would be there.

"As long as we get there, it means we're in the World Series, so it really doesn't make a difference," Jeter said. "But I can't worry about who we're going to play in the next round; we have to get past Boston first."

Signing bonus: Fans holding tickets for Friday's rainout will now have the opportunity to go to Monday's Game 5 with those tickets -- as long as there is a Game 5.

Should the Yankees complete a four-game sweep, those fans holding tickets to see what was supposed to be Game 3 would lose out on the chance to see an ALCS game. Torre said that would be fine with him, since it would mean that his team had advanced to the World Series.

"That's all right with me. I think it's a [heck] of an idea," Torre said. "I'll send each one of them an autograph. It may take me a while, but I'd have all week to do it."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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